Does the Luck Legend Continue?
With one upset under their belts, do the Colts have another one in them?
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-6 / 53)
The AFC Championship features half of the predicted/expected matchup based on the final four teams last week. Very few had Andrew Luck and the Colts going into Denver and knocking off the Broncos, especially in a dominating fashion. While Peyton Manning was hurt, the Colts’ defense looked like world beaters. Meanwhile, the Patriots had to rely on some “trickeration” and holes in the rulebook to knockoff a very strong challenge from the Baltimore Ravens.
While it is playoff time and records / previous history should be thrown out the window, the Colts and Patriots are familiar foes, facing each other 3 times in the past three years, including the regular season this year and the playoffs last year. Luck stands 0-3 vs. Brady and the Patriots (the only team he’s played more than once and not beaten). The Colts have been outscored 144-66 in those games. However, the key stat during this year’s regular season match up was the 246 rushing yards the Patriots accumulated at a 5.6 yards per carry pace.
Prediction: Tom Brady is healthy and the spotlight is too big for the Colts, who have never been in this situation before. Indianapolis will have to pick their poison and either try to stop the run this time, which will open up Brady and the passing game, or stick to their earlier game plan and risk New England to control it on the ground. The balanced Patriot attack will force the Colts to be one-dimensional and Luck is due for some turnovers. Expect an inspired effort by the Patriots’ defense to prove that last week was a fluke. Whether it starts early or happens late, the Patriots will prove to be too much for the Colts. Patriots 38 Colts 24